by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat
Oh I am sad. Sad, sad, sad… By the time you read this article, I will have left Glenorchy, headed north once again on a new adventure.
It’s been just over a year since I came back to spend some time with my Mum and write a book.
Right now, I’m sitting at my desk in front of a window all but taken over by a plum tree, but I can still spy the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s a perfect Glenorchy day – 28 degrees and clear blue skies. The air feel crisp and clear and I feel… sad.
I adore Glenorchy, absolutely love it, and I feel so blessed to have spent a year here. But now, it’s time to go.
And even though I love it so very much, I can’t deny that living here isn’t working for me and Samuel anymore.
I lost local childcare in April, and since then have had to drive 40 minutes into Queenstown so Samuel could attend Montessori. One of my reasons for choosing to live in Glenorchy was because I could live without a car, walking everywhere, and just do one town trip every week for groceries.
Suddenly I was spending three or four days a week driving up and down that road, chewing through petrol and doing my bit to hasten the end of the world. Ok, maybe not quite, but it wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle. I work from home on the computer, and while I could work in cafes and the library, it was more expensive and also more distracting. My creative work was suffering.
Added to that, opportunities to teach yoga weren’t as forth-coming as I hoped, even with a wellness retreat being built up the road.
By July, I could feel that I needed to make a change. I needed to live closer to childcare, and I needed to work more – especially now Samuel was getting older. So began four or five months of attempting to discern the right direction to move in.
Added to the mix was a new relationship with my man Leighton. He lived in Queenstown, but was ready to move as well. However, where could we go? And had we built a strong enough foundation for our relationship to survive moving together?
It was a period of constant ideas, exploration, changes and loads of discussion. But no movement at all. Frustrating in the extreme for me! Usually, as soon as I discern something isn’t working anymore, I do whatever it takes to bring my life back into balance.
This time though, I had to wait, be patient, and stay the course. Until one day when I knew I just couldn’t do that anymore.
I’d been exploring moving into Queenstown – that way Leighton and I could continue to live separately and slowly build our relationship, but I’d have more work opportunities and be closer to childcare. However, after a month of watching the rental market I realised that the cost of living in Queenstown put it completely out of the reach of a single mother working part-time.
I felt stymied in every direction.
So I did something brave.
I decided to go with what I knew for sure – what my gut and my heart was telling me.
I knew I had to leave Glenorchy – I could feel it.
I also felt called to go and spend some time with my Dad in Blenheim. I haven’t lived with my Dad since my parents separated when I was 11 years old. But it was a really powerful process coming to live with Mum last year, and now I knew it was time to do the same thing with Dad.
Those were two things I knew for sure. So I leapt.
I made the decision to leave Glenorchy without knowing where I was moving to, beyond the fact that I’d go and stay with my Dad for December.
Some people would think this was mad – especially with a four year old in tow. But over the last few years I’ve learned how to listen closely to the small voice inside and align myself with the unfolding flow of life. Some things I just know. And uncertainty I’ve learned to handle.
Making that decision was a huge relief – I’d been feeling oppressed, depressed and heavy for a couple of weeks – now there was clarity and light and openness again.
This chapter in Glenorchy was drawing to a close – I’d successfully written and published a book thanks in part to the solitude and silence of the mountains. GY, as us locals affectionately call the town, is home to about 400 people. There’s two pubs, three cafes, a garage that doubles as a post office and a possum fur gift shop. That’s about it.
I know that I’ve done a lot of healing in the last year or so of mostly internal work and solitude. Now it’s time for me to venture back out into the world again.
Yet, even though I know this – that this move is what has to happen, and it’s the right thing to do – I am extraordinarily sad about leaving GY. At heart, I am a mountain woman. I love the way mountains claim the landscape and hold space, creating a boundary of solidity in an ever-shifting landscape of Self. And that’s perhaps why I’ve been here. Mountains have taught me how to stay strong and centered. They’ve helped me come home to myself in a way I never have been before.
I may be 38, but it feels like I’m leaving home for the first time, heading off into the world to find my fortune. Co-incidentally or not, the very afternoon I made the decision to leave Glenorchy without knowing where I was going… something happened.
I met a yoga teacher – the first New Zealand yoga teacher in over a decade I could see myself studying with. That blew me away – and also opened up a new possibility. I could go and study with this senior teacher and take my teaching and practice to the next level. (You can read all about my angst over never having had a ‘teacher’ here.)
That’s what I’ll be contemplating as I spend time with my Dad and step-mum Viv in Blenheim.
In the meantime, I’ve been packing and saying my goodbyes to Glenorchy and it’s people, on the verge of tears all week.
Last night, I dreamed about a flooded basement I was attempting to drain the water from and two old boyfriends. In my dreams, houses represent the psyche and water, emotions. No points for seeing that I need to shed a few tears!
The dream reminded me of the first real adult home I ever created, with my boyfriend of the time, Mike. After we broke up, I refused to accept reality – which was that I couldn’t afford to keep my beautiful apartment and needed to move out. Instead I jumped far too quickly into a new relationship and then into living with that boyfriend. (The same two boyfriends that showed up in my dream – ain’t the psyche amazing?)
That refusal to accept reality when I broke up with Mike and needed to leave my apartment, but didn’t, planted the seeds for my psychosis 18 months later.
Now, I see how much I’ve changed and matured.
I can sense when something isn’t working for me anymore, and even though I love GY, I can still see the truth of the moment.
I have to go.
So going I am.
That is life. We are the captains of our own boats, but we can’t control the weather. Pretending there’s no storm can sink a boat fast.
New adventures await. Time with my Dad and the rest of the family in Blenheim. And an exploration of a brand new town and potential yoga teacher.
Yes, I’m on the move again.
Goodbye Glenorchy… (for now…)
I will always love you!